As someone who has immigrated to the United States, there may come a point when you want to bring your family to the country. But before you can do so, it’s critical that you learn more about the process, your legal rights and the steps you can take to position yourself for success.

As you approach this process, there are some key questions to answer. Here’s where you should start:

  • What are the best ways for family members to enter the United States? Generally speaking, you have two options: employment-based immigration and family-based immigration. For example, with family-based immigration, you may find yourself helping your fiancé obtain a K-1 visa.
  • Is there a waiting list? Fair or not, there is a waiting list for relatives to enter the United States through the immigration process. The length of the wait depends on a variety of factors, such as your relationship with the person and the country they’re coming from.
  • What are the challenges of relocating family members to the United States? It seems like there’s one challenge after the next, but some are more difficult to overcome than others. For instance, if your family member has committed a serious crime in their home country, it will make it more difficult for them to legally gain entrance to the United States. Just the same, if the person has illegally entered the United States in the past, it will also pose additional trouble.
  • Is it required for the individual to gain employment in the United States? When you decide to move a family member to the United States, they must have a person in the country who acts as their anchor. For example, if the person is coming to live with you, you’re their anchor. If the person is able to immigrate for a job, their employer then becomes their anchor. While it’s not required for a person to gain employment, it can help their ability to enter the United States.

If you’re interested in relocating family members to the United States, learn more about the process, how to overcome challenges and the best way to protect their legal rights.